Given the large variation between each subject and the exam boards that we have seen this year, using 2019 boundaries as a starting point for grade estimates in 2022-23 would not be appropriate. It ignores the difference in impact of the pandemic on different subjects. It could also potentially create a level of challenge too high for some subjects and could prove demotivating for both staff and students alike.
The 2022 boundaries are the most recent and most valid picture that we have. Quite simply they are the actual outcomes from the first full exam series since 2019.
- They represent the outcomes of the disrupted learning of the pandemic years present the truest reflection of our current state of play
- They highlight the nuanced changes that individual units have experienced and provide a real account of the raw marks achieved
There are a few outliers at A-Level that have a larger than normal decrease in their grade boundaries e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology. The significant majority however are within 4-5% of pre-pandemic levels. Therefore using the 2022 + 4-5% boundaries provides a challenge for some subjects that will see the return to 2019 levels and perhaps even slightly higher.
For those subjects such as Physics A-Level which had a significant decrease, (as high as 11%), it’s realistic to assume that there won’t be a 10% increase by 2023, relating to the point raised earlier, that simply using the 2019 boundaries may provide too much challenge and be demotivating. For these outlier examples, adding 4-5% provides a midpoint to aim for as the subject progresses back to pre pandemic levels (2019).